Which Way Is Up?: Finding Heart in the Hardest of Times

Pre-Order   Ships Jun 04, 2024

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$19.95  $18.55
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0.0 X 0.0 X 0.0 inches | 0.81 pounds

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About the Author

Susan Gillis Chapman is a Buddhist teacher, retired couples and family therapist, and former faculty-member for Karuna Training. After the publication of her first book, The Five Keys to Mindful Communication, in 2012, Susan began teaching extensively in Europe and North America. Her Buddhist training began fifty years ago when she became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974, After his passing, she studied with Thrangu Rinpoche, who directed her to complete the Kagyu three-year retreat at Gampo Abbey. He later appointed her to be Drupon, or retreat master, for another six years. In her years at the Abbey, she began a mentoring relationship with Pema Chodron that continues to this day. In 2012 she was appointed as an Acharya to the Shambhala Community by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She retired in 2020 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Susan's new book, Which Way is Up? uses stories from her cancer journey as examples of how to bring loving kindness to the fears that arise in a life-crisis. As the book launches in the summer of 2024, Susan is rebuilding her health and teaching part-time. Mostly, she's enjoying life with her husband, Jerry, in Burnaby, British Columbia and their cat, Ziji. Susan's close family includes three sisters, her adult son, Sheehan, and two stepdaughters, Sarah and Autumn.


"When Susan received a diagnosis of cancer during the isolating years of the Covid pandemic, she was able to draw on her years of Buddhist training for support. In this book, she shares the insights and practices that sustained her in dealing with the initial shock of the diagnosis and throughout the challenges of treatment. Susan structures her book around the teachings of bardos, or what she calls times of 'rude awakening.' Her book is unique in its straightforward discussion of fear and the power of compassionate wisdom to move through fear to healing. It is a great resource not only for cancer patients but for anyone going through an abrupt or startling transition in life."
--Judith Lief, author of Making Friends with Death

"Forged by the fires of direct experience, and buttressed by decades of deep meditative practice, this is a profound and practical journey of the heart crafted by a spiritual warrior. Susan Chapman deftly translates the Buddhist teachings on the bardo into language you can understand and immediately apply to the challenges of life. If you want to learn how to transform obstacle into opportunity, this book is for you."
--Andrew Holecek, author of Reverse Meditation

"This book is like a wise old friend accompanying us in the most difficult of times. Susan Gillis Chapman goes right to the heart of our deepest fears, sharing her own story in a way that sheds light on our greatest moments of suffering and invites us to allow the journey to be transformative. She offers clear practices and insights that serve as signposts to guide the reader through difficulty with compassion and fierce love."
--Hala Khouri, author of Peace from Anxiety

"With a warrior's strength and a mother's tenderness, Susan Chapman takes us on her cancer journey, from the paralyzing grip of fear to the open expanse of love, framed by the traditional bardo teachings. This is a compelling book."
--Irini Rockwell, author of The Five Wisdom Energies

"In this tumultuous age of global uncertainty, Which Way Is Up? invites us to dive deep down into our collective heartbreak in order to resource from the fertile and regenerative depths of meditation practice. Susan Gillis Chapman offers steadfast compassion, grace, clarity, and a generous invitation for growth. She supports the reader each step of the way, as she offers the medicine of seeing and perceiving more clearly, from the heart, as an alternative to feeding fear, reactivity, and overwhelm. She invites us to come home to peace with our ever-changing world and human experience and to move from a fear-based response to freedom of the heart."
--Deborah Eden Tull, author of Luminous Darkness

"Enlisting the basics of contemplative psychology, Susan guides her readers into embodied listening, the discovery of innate bravery, and the capacity to strengthen compassion in the face of real challenges. This book offers compassionate wisdom--directly from the heart--and will benefit anyone undergoing groundless times."
--Melissa Moore, author of The Diamonds Within Us